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Recent Queensland law changes make it more difficult to claim

22 Jul 2014

Have you heard? Recent Queensland law changes make it more difficult to claim compensation for workplace accidents

If you read the news, you might have seen that the Queensland Government changed the WorkCover scheme in October 2013.

The biggest effect of these changes is that it’s now harder for injured workers to make workplace injury claims in this state.

The main changes to the law are:

  • the introduction of a threshold of 5 per cent degree of permanent impairment in order to access common law damages
  • a cap on common law payouts
  • the scrapping of insurance protections for workers during commutes and lunch breaks.

These changes come despite October 2013 research by ReachTEL showing 83 per cent of Queenslanders support the right of workers to bring legal claims for injuries in unsafe workplaces, and 73 per cent think workers should be able to claim for minor injuries as well.

So if you’re an injured worker in Queensland, what does this mean for you?

GC Law can explain these changes to you and discuss how they apply to you and your claim for compensation. Call us on 1300 302 318.

But the main thing to know here is that the 5 per cent threshold on workplace injury claims has widespread implications. It means that an injured worker must have a 6 per cent or more whole-person impairment before they have the right to common law damages. Put another way, if 5 per cent or less of your whole person is injured, you now have no right to common law damages.

This is a hard one to cop because there are many people who are seriously disabled with whole-person impairments of far less than 6 per cent, who can’t work, particularly when the injuries are to their hands or feet.

Remarkably, across the board, the state government’s introduction of this threshold could see the number of common law claims reduced by half.

The changes came into effect in October 2013 with the passing of the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2013. People with existing workers’ compensation claims prior to October 2013 will have their claims dealt with under legislation in force at the time of their injury.

 

If you’re concerned by these changes and how they affect you, please call GC Law today. We can explain the changes, the dates they came into effect, and determine whether they apply to you and your compensation claim. Call us on 1300 302 318.